Jump to content
UKV - The Place for Precision Rifle Enthusiasts
Sign in to follow this  
brown dog

Increasing visible .223 bullet splash?

Recommended Posts

Having seen how nigh on impossible it is to spot ,223 fall of shot when gong shooting or plinking at long range with a grass backstop (whilst anything from fast 6mms and bigger seems to chuck turf in the air), wondering if there'd be any difference using a-max or similar in order to deliberately increase splash.

 

Is there a difference in grass/mud splash when using ball/scenar as opposed to a-max or similar?

 

Anyone choosing long range field plinking 223 bullets based on maximising visible splash?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shot 75gn AMax at 600m gongs against grass and couldn't see shot impact at all. Took 20 shots then pure luck to find the gong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt,I have shot quite a lot at distance out to and beyond1000y,and there are essentially three factors that influence the liklihood of seeing splash-ie the impact of the bullet.

 

No surprises-they are the nature of the ground,the momentum of the bullet,and the magnification/clarity of your scope. You will see 'splash'-literally- on wet surface mud/ground with most calibres,given high mag at distance. You are much,much less likely to see bullet impact even at modest distances into most grass,especially if the grass is disturbed by wind-as you are now experiencing. Larger calibres may make spotting impact easier if they dislodge bits of turf,as 308 and up often do. Into ferns,not a hope under any circumstances. 243/6BR class are 'intermediate' as you might expect.

 

I don't think the bullet construction makes much difference.Magnification does,but is no guarantee-at least up to 42x ;mostly a 308 -and anything lesser-into short/medium waving grass is just lost,often it can be seen in short,very dry patchy grass,as a small puff of dust.

 

There seem no surprises in all this,the three factors operate,and the more they are on your side,the better the chance-a moderator helps reduce muzzle flip -a lot-and an spotter can sometimes help. Having shot a range from most from 17 fast and light,to 470 very heavy all the above holds- more momentum disturbs the ground more. Shots that are at a shallow angle to the ground can increase chances a little,as they may furrow several inches. The little plink of 223 into gravel is readily visible at 600,but it's no volcanic event;whereas in grass you get no feedback at all,typically.

 

I should add that most of my experience with 'varminting class'(222/223 eg) has been with magnification up to 24x,the mid class (243/6BR/30 BR,PPC eg) has been up to 25x,mainly Leupold,42 for 6BR;and 308 on up(not 470) to Shehane,with up to 42x,all NF.

 

It is one of the frustrating/challenging aspects of 'varminting /field target shooting.

 

gbal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.223 is definitely tricky at longer ranges to spot. Bullet mass and energy are always going to win in the splash contest. However I do try and place LR gong targets on an up slope and on close cropped grass (where the sheep have had a good graze). I use 69gr SMK's and had good success out to 700 yards and have been able to see splash most of the time. Further out than 800 yards though I've been struggling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, why have you consciously grouped ball and scenar together?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about every fourth round being tracer ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, why have you consciously grouped ball and scenar together?

 

A-max is an 'explosive expander', but ball and scenar are not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A-max is an 'explosive expander', but ball and scenar are not.

Hornady use the term 'explosive expander' for their V max bullet design-for high,fast and dramatic expansion on ((small) varmints;A max are couched in target oriented terms,though not so designated (ie 'target' only).It's often discussed,I believe.

I don't think it makes much difference,having shot both a & V,and the 'explosive' Barnes 'Varmint Grenades' also, but it might just under some conditions.The Vmax come in the less heavy bullet weights,so 'momentum' may be slightly compromised(and are FAC?)

As a last resort,we used to check fall of shot against a sympathetic stop-like earth patch/rock,at target quarry distance-but they are not always available.Tracer may or not have the same ballistics/accuracy,apart from any other caveats on it's use.

 

gbal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A-max is an 'explosive expander', but ball and scenar are not.

On things with faces maybe, but not on dirt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They don't fly the same

Well I stand corrected , I thought military tracer was matched to ball ammo trajectory wise ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot 80 grain Amax out of my .223 AI and they seem to be very good for spotting shots. If it be long range gongs or long range vermin out past 500 yards, you can find the gong usually second shot and like wise with rabbits at that range. 99% of the time its your wind call that is out, so spotting your shots on vermin usually help aids and results in second shot connection. At this range the rabbit don't here the shot from the rifle, most of the time if bullet impact is close they just jump and then stop and wonder what it was.....this is usually their last mistake. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot 80 grain Amax out of my .223 AI and they seem to be very good for spotting shots. If it be long range gongs or long range vermin out past 500 yards, you can find the gong usually second shot and like wise with rabbits at that range. 99% of the time its your wind call that is out, so spotting your shots on vermin usually help aids and results in second shot connection. At this range the rabbit don't here the shot from the rifle, most of the time if bullet impact is close they just jump and then stop and wonder what it was.....this is usually their last mistake. ;)

 

Thanks - that's what I'd have guessed, a bullet that completely comes apart should, to my mind, make greater splash than something that goes into the ground like a knitting needle.

 

Well I stand corrected , I thought military tracer was matched to ball ammo trajectory wise ?

 

-ish, different shape at the base and, of course, tracer bullets change weight and c of g as they go downrange. At the full nerd level, there's even an element of base bleed effect from gases generated by the burning tracer compound.

Final bit of nerditry, every 5th round is tracer: 4-Bit is '4B1T' which is 4Ball1Tracer :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a good spotter with you…...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks - that's what I'd have guessed, a bullet that completely comes apart should, to my mind, make greater splash than something that goes into the ground like a knitting needle.

 

 

 

-ish, different shape at the base and, of course, tracer bullets change weight and c of g as they go downrange. At the full nerd level, there's even an element of base bleed effect from gases generated by the burning tracer compound.

Final bit of nerditry, every 5th round is tracer: 4-Bit is '4B1T' which is 4Ball1Tracer :)

Interesting , what sort of difference are we talking about (my practical experience is with 308 and that's fairly close) ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some form of frangible may work, eg. Barnes Varmint Grenade

 

 

Heavy enough ?

 

Good enough bc ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some form of frangible may work, eg. Barnes Varmint Grenadehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYigC49tnh8&feature=player_embeddedHeavy enough ?Good enough bc ?

On a limited sample so far,these were accurate in a 222;the 36g had no splash advantage.BC is only .149

You are correct to query the longer distance performance-drop/drift at 500 is 60/63 inches (36@3750) cf 40vmax@3800 39/39 (BC.200).

 

Next time out,I'll try them explicitly into grass,and also try 62g 6mm,for splash.

 

While at it,I don't think the Amax is at all designed as such a bullet -it has more integrity on impact;the Vmax are designed for rapid expansion,but again I have not detected better splash under most conditions (for either) in the 224/6mm class.

Tracers exact POI seems variable and often actually hard to see at 600+,but does help gross correction,where useable-but in varminting it should be fine tuning-out a few inches only first shot,mainly wind.I'd way rather have very high mag to see any such twitch in the grass than rely on particular bullets to splash more....but more testing needed.

 

Last season,I shot on a range that had had almost no use for a year-the previous bare mantle in front of fig 11s - kept bare by military bullets just falling short,and a 5' ditch side behind 500y fig11s ,previously dirt,had both become grass/weed overgrown.

Even 308s struggled to provide clear splash ,until the ground got ploughed up a bit-though they were by far the best

 

At short ranges,sometimes there is almost 'vapourisation' if short grass is wet-maybe it's just spray,but it seems more likely with ultra velocities--again ,high x scope needed.

No splash remains,to date,an almost intractable inconvenience...( just for fun,the recent 1000 y gong shoot at diggle,though allowing initial sighters,and wild conditions,had under 50 (under 30?) hits on the 8" gong,out of some 550 + (?) shots,because splash could not be seen around the gong,(by design!)-there may have been a 25 y ranging error too for some....(sighter backstop forward to gong)..

 

gbal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use hornady 75 gr bthps and these seem to splash extraordinarily well out to about 800 yards. I use 53 gr vmaxes and these have about a third of the splash of the 75s. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some results from today's shooting,dry 8-15 mph wind from 2 o clock,short grass drying,longer still wet,exposed clay fairly dry on surface.

 

223 loaded just short of vihtavuori max (deference to straight pull)

165 yards

36g Barnes Varmint Grenades (an extremely explosive/fragmenting bullet) :clay strike visible,short grass getting marginal,2" + grass not visible.Splash was easier with 25x than 12x and 6x was poor.

69 g hollow point match: clay visible,short grass visible,2" + grass not visible- scope effects as above.

 

365y

36VG just visible in clay,otherwise not at any mag.

69HP visible in clay,any mag, just sometimes visible in short grass,at highr mag, 2"= grass not visible.

 

565y

 

36VG none visible-maybe did not hit clay

69HP just visible in clay only and at 25x mag

 

365y hits on soft sandstone boulder,both bullets strike visible,heavier much clearer.

 

This as all fairly much in line with previous observations:

 

550y

6BR 66 g HP match...visible in loose gravel at,esp with 20-40x

95G HP Lapua " but noticably bigger splash.

6.5x55 AI 140g ' clear bigger splash,like 308 155g

 

755y

 

 

6BR 90 g Lapua visible splash on soft sandstone,easier with 20-40x

6.5x55 AI 140g much bigger

308 155g as 6.5 clear strike

 

6BR,6.5,308 all clear on mud,and increasingly difficult on grass even for the 6.5 and 308-at 700+ not visible on 3" grass.

 

Seems that momentum /or roughly,energy is the key,unless the surface is very dry (dusty) or mud....or a stone that can be reduced to dust (sandstone easy,but even granite puffs clearly enough).

 

Beyond maybe 100y,frangible bullets just lose too much 'momentum' for impact to register visibly easily (the 36 VG have way less than half the energy of the 69 g in 223 at 300y-and seem to be struggling quite a bit more balistically.

Still to try 62 g VG in 6mm,but expect them to follow the general findings....

My recollection of 1000y butt duties was that 45/70 whumped into the backstop with more visible upset than did the WSM s....and that was also my impressions at 350 yards firing the 45/70-into clay,it was very clear,though grass wasn't tested....

 

Seems a favourable strike surface is needed,esp for lighter cartridges,and that more x helps (strike was never more than a couple of feet off POA-generally within inches),recoil minimised-heavy rifle,and/or moderator,firm rest.Offhand etc,with muzzle jump-very much more difficult,but only tried with 223.)

 

Probably no surprises in all this;frangible bullets don't seem the way to go-not easier to see,and degrade ballistically faster,as expected-low BC.

 

gbal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some results from today's shooting,dry 8-15 mph wind from 2 o clock,short grass drying,longer still wet,exposed clay fairly dry on surface.

 

223 loaded just short of vihtavuori max (deference to straight pull)

165 yards

36g Barnes Varmint Grenades (an extremely explosive/fragmenting bullet) :clay strike visible,short grass getting marginal,2" + grass not visible.Splash was easier with 25x than 12x and 6x was poor.

69 g hollow point match: clay visible,short grass visible,2" + grass not visible- scope effects as above.

 

365y

36VG just visible in clay,otherwise not at any mag.

69HP visible in clay,any mag, just sometimes visible in short grass,at highr mag, 2"= grass not visible.

 

565y

 

36VG none visible-maybe did not hit clay

69HP just visible in clay only and at 25x mag

 

365y hits on soft sandstone boulder,both bullets strike visible,heavier much clearer.

 

This as all fairly much in line with previous observations:

 

550y

6BR 66 g HP match...visible in loose gravel at,esp with 20-40x

95G HP Lapua " but noticably bigger splash.

6.5x55 AI 140g ' clear bigger splash,like 308 155g

 

755y

 

 

6BR 90 g Lapua visible splash on soft sandstone,easier with 20-40x

6.5x55 AI 140g much bigger

308 155g as 6.5 clear strike

 

6BR,6.5,308 all clear on mud,and increasingly difficult on grass even for the 6.5 and 308-at 700+ not visible on 3" grass.

 

Seems that momentum /or roughly,energy is the key,unless the surface is very dry (dusty) or mud....or a stone that can be reduced to dust (sandstone easy,but even granite puffs clearly enough).

 

Beyond maybe 100y,frangible bullets just lose too much 'momentum' for impact to register visibly easily (the 36 VG have way less than half the energy of the 69 g in 223 at 300y-and seem to be struggling quite a bit more balistically.

Still to try 62 g VG in 6mm,but expect them to follow the general findings....

My recollection of 1000y butt duties was that 45/70 whumped into the backstop with more visible upset than did the WSM s....and that was also my impressions at 350 yards firing the 45/70-into clay,it was very clear,though grass wasn't tested....

 

Seems a favourable strike surface is needed,esp for lighter cartridges,and that more x helps (strike was never more than a couple of feet off POA-generally within inches),recoil minimised-heavy rifle,and/or moderator,firm rest.Offhand etc,with muzzle jump-very much more difficult,but only tried with 223.)

 

Probably no surprises in all this;frangible bullets don't seem the way to go-not easier to see,and degrade ballistically faster,as expected-low BC.

 

gbal

 

Thanks George, great read out :)

Although, had more in mind the use of approx 70gr vs approx 70gr - such as 70gr scenar vs 70 gr AMax.

Please schedule the next test :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha Ha,Matt- I must have been led astray by the references to 'frangible/expolsive/etc ' bullets-a plausible but unfounded idea,as it turns out (they are all in the light weight category-viz Zmax,Vmax,Speer TNT,Sierra blitz,Barnes VG,and seem to lack clout). As do the similar 17s,which do not lack velocity.

 

But perhaps we can extrapolate meantime for the (presumably 223) 70g Scenars and Amax,though I don't have any exactly of these: but 69 scenars and 75 Amax are near enough,and we can add in 69 Sierra SMK,and 77SSMK.I'd class these as 'accuracy oriented,though controlled expansion,designs,perhaps intended by makers as primarily target oriented (V for varmint Max,but A for accuracy max:of course they can cross over for other uses,but see the detailed commentaries by eg Berger: what it says on the (new) boxes is to be taken seriously "Hunting" 'Varmint" "Target" and so on,as with other manufactures (Sierra Blitz for small varmints,Game King,and Match King;and so on).

 

This 65 to 80 224 category are very marginal for splash,as noted for the lighter bullets (dozens of them,inc old soft points/spitzers).

At their (not hot) best they come in around 1350 ftlb at muzzle.

The 70g class from say a 6BR /243/6ppc muzzle at 1850 ft lbs,the 75 and 80s around 1900 ft lb ,and they are easier to see,in any bullet construction . FMJ (and monoliths) offer no advantages.

 

It's a grass roots thing-there seems to be an energy threshold somewhere around 500 ft lb (just about where 224s are at 300y) above which splash is clearly visible-It probably is literally 'grass roots'-they need severing and clods uplifted. No doubt we can add variations in root integrity under stress in grass varieties to the mix,as well as grass length-and this might explain why some see splash and others don't in different places(tougher old stuff up t'north ? Perhaps Darren can comment on the green,green grass of home?

( Playing fields of Eton? Alas,Newcastle Falcons have plastic turf.) Salisbury Plain seems to show howitzer impacts,but so does Otterburn,so presumably well above threshold,irrespective of grass. I digress(we are not going to get smart power bullets anytime soon,dropping near vertically.)

 

I am not hopeful that snow will help,a small tickle of white against white ?

 

gbal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a good spotter with you…...

2nd this and if grounds soft from rain turf is turfed up easier and spotted immediately ! I remember long shots on crows, mostly misses with a perticular rifle thats now gone, punching fist size holes in the mud using 75 Amax out to 600 yards .

 

Just realized old post ! :ph34r:

Edited by gunner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy